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Author Topic: Which current version of Windows is "good"?  (Read 2826 times)
Intheswamp
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« on: June 11, 2013, 08:12:03 PM »

Ok, after MSDOS died back in the 90's I tinkered with Win3.1 a while...then Win95 a short while...then 98....my next step was XP Pro which has been a solid version for me.  Thankfully I stepped around some of the other versions.  During this time Linux was scattered in there.  With Microsoft annoucing an end to of support for XP in 2014 I'm trying to figure out which version of Windows to move to.  The only experience I've had with a version higher than XP Pro has been a few times on my wife's laptop running Win7 Home version.

Between Win7 and Win8 and their home/pro versions what would be a good stable one to put on a 4-5 year old computer running 2-3 gigs of ram and something like a 2.5 to 3GHz processor?  I tend to hang onto computers for a long time but want them to be solid machines.  Buying older computers is cool, too, as I don't have to have the cutting edge stuff and all of'em run way faster'n I can think!  laugh

Any thoughts?
Thanks,
Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 09:14:42 PM »

ios6 grin
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buzzbee
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2013, 07:03:39 AM »

Any reason you don't want to continue using XP even after the support is gone?
I have been using windows seven that I purchased on a used computer a couple years ago and I am quite satisfied.It runs a 2.2 ghz processor with 2 gigs of ram quite flawlessy. Windows 7 has been around long enough that a lot of the bugs are worked out.
   Windows 8 was created with the idea of using touch screens and is a completely different interface to tackle. However I am told they have an upgrafe coming that will revert you back to a more conventional looking desktop with items in the start menu instead of having to find the hidden charms screen to launch programs.
  I cleaned the drive in my old xp machine, added an old lap top hard drive inside and run free NAS on a usb stick to use the old unit as a server for backups and photo/video storage.
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Moots
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2013, 07:25:44 AM »

I'm with buzz, unless there's some compelling reason, I'd stay with XP.   However, I use Windows7 Pro and am quite satisfied, it takes a little time to adjust to the differences coming from XP, but it seems to be as stable...understanding ultimately, it is Windows.  grin

Haven't personally used 8, but haven't talked to ANYONE yet that likes it. I've even heard rumors that it was on a Vista style life cycle and would be short lived and replaced rapidly.
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nietssemaj
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2013, 08:08:29 AM »

Frankly I would upgrade to Windows 7 Pro. There are far too many usability enhancements over Window XP to not do it. You might though want to do a search to make sure there are drivers available. I've tried putting 7 on some older hardware and had some issues with video drivers. Though if your hardware is 4-5 years old there is a good chance there are Windows 7 drivers available.

Windows 8 is ok but if you were considering it I would wait until Windows Blue (8.1) is released. (Think Vista vs 7). That said, it is doubtful that 8 or 8.1 would actually run well on 5 year old hardware.
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2013, 09:05:11 AM »

Thanks for the feedback!  To be honest, I really don't want to move on from XP...I'm quiet happy with it for what I do with a computer.  The ease and familiarity of working with/on it is a valuable asset versus trying to learn a new OS.  One reason I was preparing to move up a version is that most software requirements now start with XP as being the oldest OS that a program will work with.  I took the announcement from MS that they would not be producing any more security updates for XP.  If all will be well after the cut-off date I'll be happy to stick with XP. Wink

What I'm considering are a couple of older, off-lease Dell Optiplex 760 or 780's to install Quickbooks on.  These can be had pretty cheaply and most have Win7 installed.  I've been looking predominately at the ones with the "Pro" version installed.  These computers will run Quickbooks, see some internet use, some MS Office use, and that's about it.  XP would handle all of that as would a lesser computer but most of the XP machines on the market now are a bit older than I'm comfortable with...I'm looking at mostly 3-4 year old ones.  I was reading some on Win7 and I *think* you can actually downgrade back to XP from the Pro version...but if I had Win7 would I really want to do that?  huh

buzzbee, thanks for the clarification on the intended purpose of Win8...no use for it here.  It is interesting that you mentioned the touchscreens.  Our granddaughters (6-1/2 and 2-1/2 yo) play with my wife's laptop when they visit...it is amazing the number of little fingerprints all over the screen.  I get a chuckle from the confused look on the 2-1/2yo's face when nothing happens when she touches the screen...the age of smart phones and tablets very really evident! Smiley  "Hidden charms"...I can envision that, I've had enough trouble finding my way around the wife's Win7 laptop...and I'm the "computer tech" in the family.  rolleyes

Moots, "...ultimately, it is Windows."  ...and will suddenly cease working when you least expect it.  shocked

niets, thanks for the feedback, too.  The systems that I've looked at do have Win7 already installed so I figure the initial hardware setup met the Win7 requirements...at least I hope it did.  Undecided

Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
nietssemaj
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2013, 09:15:26 AM »

I've got WIn7 on some Optiplex 745's and 755's. Works great. You'll have no problem with the 760's/780's. I think those came with Vista out of the box, but the driver base for Vista and 7 is the same so no worries there.

I can say that on the 745's/755's Windows 7 is faster and more responsive than XP.
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2013, 10:34:38 AM »

Thanks, niets.  Looking (on eBay rolleyes ) at the Optiplex offerings it seems that most of the ones "off lease" are SFF/small form factor sized units.  I've always used standard/full sized equipment so I'm unaccustomed to the smaller sized equipment.  I'm not planning on adding anything other than possibly increasing RAM so so I'm thinking I shouldn't have an issue with the smaller sized cards, etc.,....or will I?

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
nietssemaj
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2013, 11:48:46 AM »

We buy the USFF that don't even have any expansion slots in them. If you had some esoteric PCI card you need or have you might have an issue. However, most of the standard cards you can get 1/2 height if you look.

NIC/USB/SCSI
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Sundog
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2013, 12:55:41 PM »

My thoughts...

I have XP on a desktop that I will not relinquish until it becomes necessary to.  It is solid and does everything I need it to.  It is my “Workstation”.

I have W7 on my laptop along with Office 2010.  It is a 64 bit OS so it can do fancy things in Excel and Word that XP cannot, but it won’t run certain programs even in the “compatibility” mode.  I have no interest in W8.

Much of your decision depends on what you intend to do with your PC.  I don’t upgrade unless there is a good reason to, and I don’t fix things that aren’t broken. 

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BlueBee
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« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2013, 10:55:44 PM »

Windows 7 is the new XP. 

I use XP and 7.

People I know who have been forced to used Win 8 HATE it with a passion.  How the brain trust at Microsoft ever came up with Win 8 is baffling. huh  Makes the Ford Motor Company Edsel development look like genius. laugh
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Jeanette
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2013, 03:45:35 AM »

Another vote for Windows XP and Windows 7. I have found them to be stable and reliable.
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Jeanette
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2013, 06:56:18 PM »

The next windows update will make 8 run and look more like 7  on top of the new architecture that * runs on. We'll see what it looks like. I may upgrade at some point.
There is also a program available for 8 from stardock.com that will get you a start up menu like 7 has.
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2013, 03:08:41 PM »

Thanks for the feedback everybody.  I ended up picking up a couple of Optiplex 780's with Win7 Pro 64-bit and a couple of 19" monitors.  I'm impressed so far with the setup.  The little bit that I've worked with them setting them up, updating, etc., I like the feel and I'm seeing that it actually does a have smiliar (not exact, but similar) feel to it as XP Pro has...kinda like BlueBee said...the new XP.   I'm thinking about putting a new (fresh) hard drive in one of them, though, to act as the "server" in our little network but will have to discover the enchanting world of operating system transfer. Smiley

It's a shame MS jumped from Win7 SP1 straight to Win8...and now they're trying to backtrack to make Win8 "look" like Win7....makes me think of Coke "Classic".

niets, you're right about the half-height cards being available if needed...the only problem I see is if you wanted to upgrade the video...looks like the pci-e slot is only rated to 35W.  I've looked at a couple of cheap cards but can't tell what will run on it and what won't.  For what we're doing, though, the onboard graphics are actually pretty good. Wink

Thanks again for the feedback!
Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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